Defeated Cawthorn Resurfaces With Ominous Post Vowing ‘Dark MAGA’ Takeover

Hendersonville, NC - May 17 : Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., watches results from the North Carolina primary election with staff, volunteers, family and friends at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 i... Hendersonville, NC - May 17 : Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., watches results from the North Carolina primary election with staff, volunteers, family and friends at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Hendersonville, NC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS

Fresh off of his primary defeat, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) on Thursday re-emerged with a threatening post on Instagram vowing vengeance with a “Dark MAGA” takeover.

In his post, Cawthorn praised right-wing figures who came to his defense “when it was not politically profitable.” The post includes a photo with a list of names of people he deems to be his allies such as former President Trump and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Cawthorn wrote that he is “on a mission” aimed at ending “gentile politics.” (That eyebrow-raising turn of phrase was later edited to read “genteel politics.”)

He also name-checked the fringe online movement that calls itself “Dark MAGA.”

“I am on a mission now to expose those who say and promise one thing yet legislate and work towards another, self-profiteering, globalist goal,” Cawthorn wrote. “It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command.”

Cawthorn’s primary challenge defeat on Tuesday night followed a series of controversies during his short-lived congressional career, which included his claims about “sexual perversion that goes on in Washington,” which apparently rattled his GOP colleagues.

The so-called “Dark MAGA” movement calls for Trump to return to power in order to exact revenge on his enemies. It began as a campaign posting threatening Terminator-style memes on social media, but has now gained popularity among some of Trump’s prominent supporters such as Greene, as Insider explained last week. Earlier this month, Greene tweeted a meme in line with the “Dark MAGA” aesthetic, which often depicts Trump in black and red-tinted images with laser beams coming out of his eyes.

Despite lacking an explicit endorsement from Trump, the “Dark MAGA” movement continues to gain more traction among prominent right-wingers such as Jack Posobiec and Amanda Milieus.

Experts who spoke with Insider warn that “Dark MAGA,” with its aesthetic promoting nationalist and neo-Nazi imagery, could be the far-right’s latest efforts to push extremism online through the use of memes.

John Light contributed to this report.

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